Vasseur hits out at Red Bull’s “very light” F1 cost cap penalty

Ferrari boss Fred Vasseur believes that Red Bull’s dominant start to the season shows their F1 cost cap penalty was “very light”. 
Vasseur hits out at Red Bull’s “very light” F1 cost cap penalty

Red Bull have carried over their strong form from last season into 2023 and have comfortably won each of the opening three rounds in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Australia. 

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In October last year, the reigning world champions were hit with a $7m fine and had a 10 percent reduction in wind tunnel time for a 12-month period imposed on them for being found in ‘minor’ breach of the $145m spending limit for 2021. 

But the penalty appears to have had little impact on Red Bull’s performance - so far at least - with Max Verstappen already well on course to claim a third consecutive world title. 

"I am still convinced the penalty was very light,” Ferrari team principal Vasseur told reporters during a media call last week. 

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB19. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir, Bahrain, Race
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB19. Formula 1 World Championship,…

"If you consider we will improve [the car's performance by] a bit less than one second over the season in terms of aero, [and] you get a penalty of 10 per cent of this, it's one tenth, it is [equivalent to a loss of] 0.1secs.

"As it is not a linear progression, it is probably less, and as you are allowed to spend this money somewhere else, on weight saving and so on, for me the penalty is marginal.

"I don't want to say they didn't do a good job because, honestly, they did a very good job on the car. I am not trying to find an excuse at all, but if you ask me if the penalty is too light, I say yes.

"I'm not sure the effect [of the penalty] is mega. And if you consider [also] that you have an advantage at the beginning of the season because you spend more the year before.”

Ferrari are yet to finish on the podium this season and sit fourth in the constructors’ championship standings, nearly 100 points adrift of Red Bull. 

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